Detox Your Cellulite Away in 3 Steps

Detox Your Cellulite Away in 3 Steps

Do you ever get tired of stubborn cellulite, especially before shorts and swimsuits season? I’ve got you covered with three simple lifestyle changes that can have a big impact on your battle with cellulite. Read below to learn how you can take control of your body and reduce the amount of cellulite that’s stubbornly there.

1) Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water immediately after waking up.

Squeeze one organic lemon into a 16 oz glass and enjoy it as you would tea! Lemon helps break down the food that you will be consuming during the day as well as removes any toxins from your body. Plus, proper hydration improves your skin’s health and helps reduce the appearance of cellulite, wrinkles and blemishes.

2) Up your cranberry intake.

Consuming between 8 and 12 oz of cranberries or cranberry juice per day helps to emulsify fat and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Frozen cranberries can be enjoyed as a mid-day treat or you can even throw a bottle of Cran-Water in your bag while on the go. To make your own Cran-Water, simply fill up a bottle with 4 oz of cranberry juice and 28 oz of water and drink it twice daily. Cranberries are loaded with vitamins such as A, B1, C and E, which are all essentials to the removal of toxins in your lymphatic system. How could you say no to that?!

3) Substitute your cooking oil by swapping out canola oil for coconut oil.

Coconut oil is not only more beneficial for overall health, but studies have shown that coconut oil actually aids in the breakdown of fat cells that make up cellulite. For easy consumption, add a tablespoon to a fruit smoothie. Switching from canola oil to coconut oil has multiple benefits for you, your skin and your health.

Bonus tip: Add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to a warm bath. Sweating out toxins is crucial to the reduction of cellulite. The coconut oil will not only make your skin feel incredibly smooth but will also increase the release of toxins during your bath. Make sure to stay hydrated before and after your soak (perhaps with some of that delicious lemon water you learned about above).

At the end of the day, anyone can suffer from cellulite; it is an equal-opportunity offender. If you’re feeling frustrated with it and want to take control of your body and health, keep in mind that the best results come from consistency and determination. By setting a healthy daily routine for yourself, you’ll be able to get the body you deserve!

Want to take control of your body and health even more? Sign up and get started with my Take Control Weight Loss Program here!

Finding The Romantic Partner That Is Right For You | Nadia La Russa

How To Be In Love

One of the greatest joys in life is enjoying a healthy, romantic partnership. We, as humans, love to be in love. Finding the perfect romantic partner isn’t always easy, though, despite our ardent desire to do so. Fortunately, today’s digital age provides us with the ability to connect with a multitude of other people. The horizon for our love lives is unlimited.

Here are some tips to help you take control of your love life and find the right person to share your world with.

Learn to Embrace Your Own Greatness

Before you begin your search for another person, you need to treat yourself with love. Think about the things that make you special. Strive to always be your best self. Work to develop a confident attitude that is attractive to potential mates. When you are radiant because you know your worth, others will want to live in that sun. Also, there is no point in not bringing anything other than your best self into a relationship.  Far too often relationships crumble because of our own personal negative feelings of self-worth that we inadvertently put on our partner. Starting out knowing your worth, and embracing the greatness that is YOU will help alleviate the “itty-bitty-shitty-committee” that tends to take a front row seat in our minds.

Cast a Wide Net When You Begin Your Search For a Partner

Open yourself up to those who on the surface appear different from you. Consider folks from all walks of life, various nationalities and even other regions. Far too often we are picky about various insignificant things about potential partners – and while these are ok to have (we need attraction within our relationship!) they can be limiting!  However….

Look For The Spark As You Talk With Potential Suitors

The chemistry of attraction is an important part of finding love. Refuse to settle for a relationship with someone just because it makes sense on paper. You and your mate deserve the “knock out” feeling of great passion. Whether it happens in an instant or takes some time to develop, you need to have it for long-term happiness.

Go On Lots of Dates

When you find someone online or elsewhere, you need to interact with each other in a variety of settings. This allows you to test out your compatibility before you commit. Be sure to also tell those you go out with that you are dating others. Not only is this fair play, but it will make those truly interested in a relationship work hard to win you. It seems these days there is less dating than there used to be – we want exclusivity right off the hop. It’s ok not to commit right away, but once you do commit, commit.

Decide What You Want and What You Will Not Tolerate

Related blog post: Beginner’s Guide to Setting Boundaries

As you get to know the people you date, you will discover things you adore about them and what is not so attractive to you. Make the proverbial list of the traits you MUST have in a romantic partner. If there are deal breaking issues such as having children or practicing a particular religion, do not waste time with those who disagree. Don’t convince yourself that they will change their minds over time. Even if they do, they will likely resent you for it.

Go Slowly When You Find Someone You Believe Will Make a Great Partner

It’s so exciting to be in love at first, isn’t it? Do not let excitement push you into a serious romance too quickly. Enjoy the early stages of discovery as you let affection grow. Hold off on physical intimacy until you know the person is the right one for your life. Having sex early on might confuse your feelings and lead you to believe your connection is deeper than it is in reality. Don’t mesh lives, finances and living arrangements right away – these can be messy to sort out later on if it doesn’t work out.

Seek Out Other People’s View of Your Romance

It is often hard for the people involved to realistically assess a new relationship. Talk to your best, most honest and discerning friends about what they see. A fresh perspective often gives you the clarity you need to make a smart decision. Your choice of whom to share your life with is incredibly important so treat it that way. If you want an even more objective opinion, consider working with a personal coach.

Love comes when you open yourself and work for it. Selecting a romantic partner you will find happiness and fulfillment with is vitally important so you must treat it that way. Construct a well thought out strategy that will guide you to the person who will accompany you in a fantastic life.

Are they “The One”? Get couples counselling. Right Away.

Have you met The One? That’s awesome….until it isn’t. Sooner or later, something is going to come up that you disagree on. If you don’t know how to handle disagreements as a couple, they can explode into massive arguments faster than a hurricane.

It never ceases to amaze me how dentists have the concept of preventative maintenance down pat. No other health care field seems to have a grasp on this like the dental profession.  I believe that the strongest of couples are not afraid to seek a professional counsellor to help them sweat through the small stuff – so it doesn’t become big stuff. It’s a lot harder to fix a major relationship rift than prevent one from the outset.  Plus, it can help work out issues before they boil over into deal breakers.

Whether you’re married, in a relationship or single, take control of your love life with these tips! Have something to add? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share your own tips for how people can take control of their love lives.

3 Ways To Feel Younger Overnight

3 Ways To Feel Younger Overnight

Imagine waking up feeling five or even ten years younger in your appearance, confidence, and aura. The secret is in reducing gut inflammation. Gut inflammation can result in a lack of motivation and an increase in autoimmune disorders, tiredness and irritability, leaving you feeling worn-out and exhausted. Does this sound familiar? These three simple steps will have you take control of your gut health and as a result, feeling younger, more vibrant and healthier!

1) Try some bone broth.

Grass-fed bone broth helps to build antibodies, tighten skin cell and can even reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s packed with gelatin and collagen, which rebuilds your gut lining and helps to strengthen your immune system. Bone broth contains potassium and glycine, which aids in liver detoxification. Enjoy it warm before bed on by itself or in a soup. Grass-fed bone broth can be found at your local health food store.

2) Eliminate sugars, bread and pasta from your diet.

Replace those unhealthy carbs with natural ones like berries or starch vegetables. Gut inflammation is often exacerbated by food sensitivities. Some food sensitivities are so hidden, you may not even know that you have one without an official food sensitivity test. Proactively removing unhealthy carbs and white flours from your diet will aid in the replenishment of your gut lining and reduce the inflammation in your gut.

3) Last but not least, establish a regular, calming evening routine.

Brushing and flossing your teeth every night is crucial to feeling better the next morning. Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health! Spend a little time before bed winding down, reading a book or writing a journal entry. Meditate or go for a moonlight walk. Ensure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night and commit to taking a little time out of every day for yourself. The greatest change comes from within and the willingness to commit to the change!

These three simple steps will usher in a big difference in your overall health and wellness. It’s recommended to commit to these lifestyle changes for at least three months to fully repair the inflammation in your gut. By then, you will already have forgotten about those old habits that used to be your norm. That feeling of lethargy and lack of motivation is in the past and you’re well on your way to a healthier, younger you!

Want to take control of your body and health even more? Sign up for my Take Control Weight Loss Program here!

Take Control Weight Loss Program | Nadia La Russa

wrinkles

Say Adios to Your Wrinkles in 5 Steps

Are you struggling to get rid of your wrinkles? It’s very easy to purchase a bunch of expensive creams and lotions, but what if I told you that you could trade in those false promises for natural and healthy lifestyle choices that actually provide results?

The key to diminishing and preventing future wrinkles is right in your home and your day-to-day lifestyle. Consuming high-quality proteins, vegetables and getting adequate sleep can all contribute to decreasing your wrinkles and preventing future ones! I personally use all of these and can honestly say I’m very excited to share this wisdom with you! Read below to find out how you can also take control of your life and say adios to wrinkles.

1) The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, make sure to stock up in the produce department! It’s crucial to consume at least the minimum daily serving requirement of fruits and vegetables to maintain adequate health and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Limit the consumption of fruits heavy in fructose—or fruit sugar—since fructose, as with all sugars, can increase the appearance of wrinkles. Stick with fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, lemons, and bananas.

2) Toss out the refined sugar and replace artificial sweeteners with organic, natural sweeteners such as Agave, Raw Local Honey, and Stevia. Excessive sugar consumption can damage your liver and cause breaks in your DNA, leading to autoimmune disorders. Consume any sugar, including fruit sugar, in moderation. Training your body to break the habits of sugar-overloads is key in being an overall healthier you and saying goodbye to those wrinkles!

3) Get outside and into the sun! Moderate sunshine provides your body with necessary Vitamin D to replenish the vitamins and elasticity in your skin. Aim for at least 15 minutes a day of moderate exposure, but be sure to slather on your SPF. Re-apply as needed and always take all other precautions if you’re planning any prolonged periods of sun exposure.

4) Commit to a life-long relationship with coconut. Replacing vegetable or canola oil with coconut oil and olive oil is a simple way to slow your skin’s aging. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning smoothie, indulge in some coconut crisps, replace standard dairy with coconut milk, or rub unrefined coconut oil on your problem spots.

wrinkles

5) RELAX. Stress is one of the primary contributors to premature aging because it reduces the natural collagen and elasticity in your skin essential to preventing wrinkles. Start every morning off right with a few minutes of meditation. Read a good book, go for a walk, or relax by the beach after a long day at work. Remember to take a little time out of the day for yourself. A stress-free lifestyle is one that reaps astounding rewards!

These five simple steps are a great start to a healthier, younger, wrinkle-free appearance. Make small changes to your time and energy and see how that healthy, natural glow blossoms!

Want to take control of your body and health even more? Sign up for my Take Control Weight Loss Program here!

Take Control Weight Loss Program | Nadia La Russa

How to Achieve Work-Life-Balance as a Working Parent

How to Achieve Work-Life-Balance as a Working Parent

For a healthy and happy household, it’s essential for you to achieve work-life-balance. A lot of people ask me if it’s really possible to live a balanced life when you have kids and the answer is – yes! I’ve put together some tips for you to try out for yourself so that you can balance work, life, and parenting.

Focus on Work While You’re on the Clock

As a parent, I too am all too familiar with that constant feeling of guilt whenever I’m not with my children. However, it’s super important for you to realize and accept that it’s perfectly okay for you to not be solely focused on them during every waking moment of the day. If you’re on the clock for work, use this time to be focused on the tasks at hand.

The next time you’re at work, try not to think about any issues regarding your kids. It will be tough at first but practice makes perfect and those kids need a parent who is happy and fulfilled, both professionally and personally! If you have very young kids and can afford it, you might want to consider hiring someone (or speaking nice to an available family member) who can help handle all children-related tasks while you are at work.

 

No More Checking Email During Family Time

How to Achieve Work-Life-Balance as a Working Parent | Nadia La RussaThanks to the invention of smartphones, it has become increasingly easy to constantly be in the know of new work-related emails, regardless of what time of the day it is. While it might be tempting to check your email whenever you get a notification, try and remember that you’ll have plenty of time to look after it during working hours. The benefit of keeping all your thoughts and focus on work while you’re on the clock is that family time will truly become family time!

As soon as you start reading your work emails, your attention drifts away from your family and they will notice it even if they don’t say anything. Chances are, they probably also start doing their own thing and next thing you know everyone is sitting in the same room together but on their own mobile devices.

Be sure to remind yourself that family time is sacred and use it as a bonding time with your kids and spouse.

Transitioning from Working Mode to Family Time

After being at work all day, it can be difficult to leave all the unresolved issues from work at the door. A tip I like to suggest is using your commute home (whether it’s walking, driving or transit) to clear your head of all things related to work. Listen to music, take a quick nap on the train or give meditation a try!

If you have time, hit the gym for a quick workout or stop by a local coffee shop for an afternoon/evening tea or kombucha. This will invigorate your senses and remind your brain that it’s time to relax and spend quality time with the family.

Make Time for Yourself

Living a balanced life isn’t just about balancing work and family. As the head (or one of the heads) of the household, you need to do whatever is necessary for a healthy mind.

After meeting all the demands of work and family, you might find yourself feeling so tired that you want nothing more than to sleep when given any amount of free time alone. While naps are certainly great, doing other things that you enjoy will also help you feel just as balanced and happy!

What are your favourite things to do?

Need help taking control of your life? Contact me about 1-1 coaching where I can work with you to achieve that work-life-balance that you’ve always dreamed of.

4 Benefits of Working with a Personal Coach

4 Benefits of Working with a Personal Coach

In each of our lives, there are inflection points, moments in which we have key choices to make in our careers or personal lives.  Perhaps you’re trying to decide whether to remain in your current job or return to school to obtain new training or a degree or even to take those special skills of yours and strike out on your own as a business entrepreneur.  Whatever the challenge, you don’t have to make these critical choices on your own.  There are skilled professionals who have the training and experience to help—personal coaches.

A personal coach will help motivate you and clarify your goals so you can make informed decisions and improve the quality of your life.  Personal coaches are skilled communicators and motivators with powerful people and organizational skills.  Although there is no specific degree program that directly prepares people to become personal coaches, most have experience in counseling, consulting, social work, teaching, or human resource management—and many have obtained specialized post-graduate training to enhance their effectiveness.

If you’ve never worked with a personal coach but are considering hiring one to get you from where you are to where you want to go, you probably want to know the precise ways in which a personal coach can help you.  Specifically, your personal coach will help you:

  1. Clarify your goals:  success is at the intersection of what you love doing and what you do better than almost anyone else.  A personal coach will help you identify those activities which energize and motivate you, and then determine from among these the ones in which you excel.  For example, you might be the person to whom everyone comes when they have a problem because they know you’ll be compassionate and have the skills to find a solution—but it might never have occurred to you that those people and problem-solving skills would make you a successful counselor or psychologist.  Your coach will not only help you identify your skills and competencies, but also show you what steps you need to take to launch a new career which better meets your needs.
  2. Stick to your plan:  one of the reasons people’s plans fall off the rails is that they encounter obstacles and eventually lose interest.  A personal coach will help you understand that those obstacles are part of the process of making progress and help you keep your eyes on the prize.   In those moments when you’ve experienced failure and begin to lose heart, your coach will remind you of how much progress you’ve already made and help you understand how much closer you are to your goal today than you were yesterday.
  3. Give objective feedback:  if you’ve ever shared a problem with a friend or family member, only to hear them tell you what they think you want to hear, you know how valuable unbiased feedback can be.  Your coach is there to ensure that you make progress towards your goals—when your coach evaluates the actions you need to take, he or she will do so objectively, providing an honest and forthright assessment of what you’re doing right—and what you’re doing wrong.
  4. Focus on you:  as much as those close to you want to help, they have problems and concerns of their own.  Your coach has a single-minded purpose—to help you.  You will always have his or her complete attention, unimpeded by his or her own concerns and issues.

Conclusion

Anything worth doing requires both hard work and a commitment strong enough to carry you through the rough patches and obstacles in your way.  By working with a personal coach, you will have a determined and constant advocate who will help you move outside of your comfort zone to face whatever challenges are in your way.   Personal coaching will enhance your personal development, help you achieve your career goals, and ensure you take the actions necessary to get you where you need to be, and where you want to go.

Want to find out more about Nadia’s take control coaching program? Find out more here!

The Mind is a Powerful Motivator for Success

A powerful mindset is a valuable asset in your quest for success. The health of your mind and your body are directly connected and have influential power. Do you really believe you can succeed in your work life and relationships? The answer to this question will often be the deciding factor in whether you succeed or fail.

Affirmations

Reciting affirmations is a key method to keeping your mindset powerful. You will need to begin by focusing your goals and positive thoughts and writing them down on a sheet of paper.

Negative Example: “I am terrible at doing my job.”

Positive Example: “I make wise business decisions.”

Spend a short time revising these statements until you think they accurately describe your values and your goals. Reciting these affirmations daily will help you convince your mind they are true.

Perhaps you are thinking, “what is this trickery?” Affirmations are not magic, you are simply tapping into the power that your mind holds over your decisions and pursuits. Conversely, negative affirmations are the natural enemy of wise decisions. Often we speak negative affirmations about ourselves unintentionally. The purpose of creating focused, positive affirmations is to combat the temptation to think negative thoughts.

Positive Thinking

Similar to affirmations, positive thinking is a powerful yet simple tool to help you succeed. Positive thinkers are more adept at trudging through difficulties and failures. Imagine a time you failed at something and reacted with a negative mindset; most likely you didn’t try again. Reacting positively to failures will help you get back up and try again. Once you recognize a failure as a positive stepping stone to your next success, it will be easier to react in a positive manner.

Negative Example: “I failed my latest business presentation, so I must be terrible at public speaking.”

Positive Example: “This new product I created has a fatal flaw, but I know how to fix it and I will create a better product!”

Try to reframe how you approach failure. Combat negative feelings with positive thinking and you will begin to see an improved attitude.

Journaling

Many people benefit from the act of journaling. This could mean you write a log of your day before bed, or maybe you write your plan for the day in the morning. The act of physically writing these words helps release tension built-up during the day. In the morning, it will help get your powerful mindset ready for the day.

Journaling can also be used with positive affirmations. Try writing your positive affirmations in your journal in the morning and write your plan for the day. You will be pleased to find how well your mind will follow your direction.

Mindfulness and Meditation

It is important to create time to recharge and be calm, especially during a stressful week. Recharging can help you think more clearly to make the best decisions possible. Are mindfulness and meditation the same thing? Not really. Mindfulness is the act of “being present” wherever you are; it really is just a focused form of meditation. Practically, this could look like avoiding the temptation to “hurry.” Focus on one task at a time. Don’t worry about the past or future; pay attention to what you are doing at that moment. This can be accomplished anywhere.

As for meditation, this is a dedicated time intended to clear your mind and relax your body. Many people find that they cannot withstand silence for a couple of minutes; this improves with practice. If you give yourself even just one minute each day to meditate and be still you will quickly notice the benefits emerge. Perhaps you find yourself frustrated most days at work feeling frantic about project deadlines. With scheduled meditation, you will notice you become calmer during a stressful situation. Meditation is simple: try taking 1-5 minutes to yourself in the morning. Start by sitting comfortable and tall. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. As you sit calmly and breathe, your thoughts will slow and you will become calm. Meditation takes practice so be gentle with yourself in the beginning stages. Additionally, one way to combine mindfulness and meditation is to focus on a specific affirmation. Speak this affirmation repeatedly during your meditation.

Used diligently, these tips will help you create a powerful mindset and set you up for success in your work life and relationships.

 

If you would like to learn more about creating a powerful mindset, then contact me to find out more about my Take Control Coaching program!

 

No Money November | Nadia La Russa

No Money November

What am I up to now??  In a bit of a hasty, last-minute attempt to take some control of my life, I decided not to spend any money in the month of November.  This may seem crazy, even impossible, but it’s not.  I think from time to time we can all fall victim to what I call “five bucking” ourselves to death.  A coffee here, a quick lunch there, run to the store, grab some chewing gum, oh look a cool magazine cover, and the next thing we know, we have an empty wallet and absolutely no clue where all the money went.

And then, comes December.  This is the month where our desire to spend money and bless others with gifts gets matched with the retail advertising craze.  It’s a dangerous combination.  I thought that if I could get into the habit of being incredibly mindful of literally every single cent that comes through my account in November it might help me make good decisions in December.

I also thought that I might not be alone in this struggle. So, I took to social media and sure enough, several others have joined me in this challenge.

I’ve done challenges before. You may remember that I did not walk into any establishment with a cash register back in 2014.  In 2013 I took my wardrobe down to 100 items.  I participated in “Dressember” last year and wore only dresses for the whole month of December.  Each time, it’s about the same process – I decide I’m going to do a challenge, and I jump in with both feet. After about a week I am second guessing everything, trying desperately not to quit, and by the end, I feel like it was so easy that I wonder why I didn’t do it earlier or for longer.

This challenge, I have to say, has been much more difficult.

No Money November | Nadia La RussaThe Rules

  • I start the month with a completely full gas tank, one 20-ride transit pass, and $200 cash. My fridge has a fresh supply of groceries in it.
  • The $200 cash can only be spent on fresh, perishable produce. No starch, meat, spices, condiments, packaged food, or anything processed. Fruits and veggies only.
  • If I completely run out of fresh produce AND money, I can sell 5 of my items to purchase ONE item
  • I can use any gift cards that I *currently own* as a form of currency, any gift cards that I receive during November may not be used
  • No interac transactions on my debit card and no charges on my Mastercard can be made.
  • Any and all preauthorized commitments (donations, bills, debt payments, insurance, etc) stand as they are, however, any non-essential subscriptions will be cancelled.
  • No purchases in the categories of skin care, hair care, restaurant food, entertainment or clothing can be made.
  • Any emergency medical requirements are exempt from this challenge and can be purchased as needed – prescription medications and first aid supplies.

The Purpose

  • To track how much I *don’t* spend in November, and use that money for Christmas gifts
  • To promote a habit of mindful spending
  • To inspire others to do the same
  • To utilize public transit, be mindful of my driving and carbon footprint, and to walk a minimum of 7,000 steps per day
  • To utilize my existing inventory of canned, dry and frozen foods and perhaps try new recipes based on the foods I already have in my home
  • To pare down my clothing inventory and sell or donate my gently used articles

The Journey So Far

Well, day 2 sucked. It really, really sucked and I wanted to quit.  I realize this isn’t the “oh wow this is SO easy and wonderful” message that you usually hear from me.  A client scheduled a 7:30 am meeting with me, clear across town.  I calculated that my gas tank while full, could only afford me 15km of driving for each day of the month, so I decided to take the bus as close as I could to their office, and power walk the rest of the way.

The day started out alright – I’m a naturally early riser so I got up at 4 am, did my morning routine and began to pack up what I need to take along with me.  I checked the bus schedule and made my way outside for 6:42 am.

The bus came as scheduled and google maps told me to transfer from the 3M bus to the #14 at City Hall.  So, once the bus pulled in to the terminal, I grabbed a transfer pass and hopped off. In the dark. And the rain.  As I was looking for the schedule, I noticed that the bus I had just gotten off had changed itself to the #14 bus and was pulling away.

Frustrated and wet, I found the Westfort bus and took it as close to the location as I could.  At 7:20am, I got off and prepared for the 1.2km walk ahead of me.  The rain was heavier, my nose was cold, and I was walking in the pitch black along the side of Walsh Street trying to jump over puddles and also not get killed by passing traffic. I cursed the lack of safe sidewalks, the weather and stomped into my client’s office looking like a drowned rat.

I felt discouraged, and I’m fairly certain my client thinks I’m completely insane.  I thought about deleting my post from the day before, cancelling the challenge and taking a taxi home.  But, then I remembered that I carpooled to a meeting with my friend Brenda the day before and we had the chance to have a great conversation on the way.  I recalled that I used my transit time to catch up on emails, people watch and reflect on things that I needed to think about.  And I especially thought about the fact that – at a minimum – I was saving almost two tanks of gas in my vehicle this month – nearly $170 just by doing this.

So, I washed my face, looked in the mirror and said: “we don’t quit without trying with everything we have.”

The rest of the day was absolutely amazing.  I got a ride back from a friend who was headed in the same direction as I was.  Rhonda picked me up that evening and we went to the hospital together, met up with two more friends and had the nicest two hours together laughing and chatting.  I crawled into bed last night with over 8,000 steps tracked and fell into a restful sleep.  My learning from yesterday is that this is about more than just money. It’s about health, freedom, choices, and possibilities.

So Now What?

I’m going to keep going! And you can join me anytime – even try it for a week! I promise you will see changes in your bank account and in your attitude and happiness.

#nomoneynovember

Waking Up at 4AM is AWESOME

Why waking up at 4am every day is AWESOME!

I set my alarm for 4am every day.

Over the last two years, I have developed the habit of preserving my quiet morning time to meditate, pray, do a bit of yoga, read, or even mindlessly scroll through social media.  Most of the time, when someone new figures this out, I get one of a few canned reactions:

  1. You’re crazy
  2. I could NEVER do that
  3. Wow, that’s amazing, I wish I could do that.

Here’s the great news – you CAN. Everyone can.  And, although it takes getting used to, I’d never go back to the days of waking up straight into the morning rush-around.

Mornings can be pure evil

Why waking up at 4am is AWESOME!For many of us, mornings are pure evil. The anxiety-inducing buzz of the alarm, bare feet on a floor that feels like the polar ice cap, bleary, crusty eyes that only open halfway, and the endless trudge to the coffee pot (seriously, why does the walk to the coffee pot feel like running a marathon?). Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that you look, smell, and sound like a monster that just crawled out of the world’s deepest, darkest trench. To top it all off, your roommate/partner/spouse is a (gasp!) morning person. He or she seems to literally jump out of her bed looking like someone who just spent five days at a spa. They’re beaming from ear to ear, grinning like some kind of maniacal clown, going on and on about their incredibly detailed plans for the day–all the while singing and laughing in an insanely bubbly voice. As you respond to the endless babbling with a few caveman grunts here and there, you wonder how in the world anyone could possibly be like this every single morning. Although it’s hard to believe, there are a lot of morning people in the world, and following just a few of these tips could help you wake up a lot earlier with a lot less struggle:

Ease into it

Turning into an early bird isn’t going to happen overnight. You have to ease into it. If you normally get up at 7:00 am (meaning physically getting out of bed, not the first of seven times that your alarm goes off), don’t think you’re just magically going to start getting up at 5:00 am. Instead, aim for small goals–baby steps. Try getting up at 6:45 for a while, until it feels comfortable (you don’t have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like your roommate, but a bit more than barely functional is helpful). Once you are comfortable with your new time, creep it up another 15 minutes. Repeat the process until you reach your final goal.

Imagine

Imagine what you would do with your morning if you could wake up and hop out of bed without needing a gallon of coffee just to open your left eye (the right one takes another gallon). Let your imagination run wild–you could finish that book you’ve been reading for roughly two years, start a yoga routine, enjoy some early morning gardening, or even go for a run (okay, okay, let’s not push it). Whatever you imagine you could do with that extra time, let it be your inspiration.

Why waking up at 4am is AWESOME!Wake up to something pleasant

I’m not sure who came up with the idea that alarms had to be, well, alarming. Maybe it wasn’t the brightest idea to have the first thing you hear every day be a sound akin to someone hammering nails into your eardrums. None of us like waking up wondering if the house is on fire or if that’s just the alarm clock. So find an alternative. Ditch that vexing old alarm clock and try something new. Waking up to music can be very pleasant, or check out some nature sounds apps–you could be waking up to the sounds of rolling waves on the beach rather than a five-alarm fire.

No more excuses

As we talked about earlier, this isn’t a change that is going to happen overnight. There are some days that are going to be much tougher than others–days when you’ll want to give in to temptation and start beating on that snooze button. You’ll justify it with excuses–it’s so cold, I was up late last night, I don’t feel like making coffee, there’s nothing to eat for breakfast, I have so much to do and it’s going to be a bad day… In order for this new morning schedule to work, you have to make it tougher to find an excuse. Put slippers near your bed to combat your icy floor, program your coffee pot the night before (not only will it be piping hot and ready when you wake up, the smell will make you hop right out of bed!), prep simple breakfast foods (cut up fruit and store it in the fridge, stock up on yogurt, pour single-servings of cereal in small Tupperware bowls), and get organized. It can be tough to get up when your day feels like a hot mess before you even open your eyes–even a simple list of the things you need to accomplish each day can help. Write it out the night before and stick it on the fridge to help you feel less frazzled in the morning.

Keep a log

Although the actual getting-out-of-bed part is going to be hard, you’re going to notice a lot of benefits once you start waking up earlier. You’ll feel less stressed, you’ll be able to take your time, you’ll be more productive, and you’ll eat a better breakfast. Keep a log of all the changes (even tiny ones!) that you notice as you start the process of waking up earlier. Keep track of how much you get done in the first few hours of your day as opposed to how productive you were when you slept later. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive impact getting up a little early will have on your life.

It takes perseverance

Changing your sleep pattern to wake earlier isn’t an easy thing to do, but it can be done with a little perseverance. There are many benefits to being an early riser–according to Forbes magazine, early birds are more enthusiastic, better problem solvers, better planners, more productive, more optimistic, in better shape, and get this–they sleep better (research shows that people who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier get more restorative sleep). So while you are adjusting to your new wake-up time, just remember all these benefits and keep imagining what you’re going to do with all that extra quiet time.

See you in the morning!